Our View from the Edge
Peter Merriam brings his love for living on the edge and a finely tuned sense of focus to his vineyards and winery, with passions that span from the extreme in adrenaline to the extreme in patience. An avid skier, Peter has broadened his skill to include heli-skiing — off-trail, downhill skiing accessed only by helicopter, a variation that would allow him to experience the wild, natural environs that have inspired him throughout his life. In the most extreme example of Peter’s passion for the edge, he dropped 12,000 feet on Alaska’s Chugach Mountain Range. At the other extreme, Peter is an accomplished fly fisherman, participating in an ancient method based on quiet patience and focus. Peter sometimes fishes for eight-hour stretches, catching only two fish within that time. “I focus on the details at a very slow speed,” says Peter. Now, as a vintner, Peter is finding that the discipline, determination and singular focus that he has developed through skiing and fishing are the skills that serve him best in the vineyard. Working in the vineyards is another expression of Peter’s love for nature. A natural conservationist, Peter has always been an outdoor person. It was the beauty of Sonoma County that compelled him to plant vineyards and build a winery in Russian River Valley.
Raised in a New England home where food was not only the focus of the kitchen, but also the means of the family’s livelihood, Diana Merriam was transformed when she was introduced to the intricacies of food and wine during her honeymoon in France. It was in France that Diana’s natural spirit of warmth and hospitality found new inspiration. The creative force behind the new Merriam Vineyards Tasting Room, Diana’s hope is that guests will leave Merriam Vineyards with feelings of generosity and abundance, reminiscent of her visits to the heart of France. Diana is a natural cook, and her kitchen is where her family thrives. She is faithful to her local farm stands, shopping nine months of the year at one of six stands within a fifteen-mile radius of her home. She also cultivates a garden every summer at their home in Maine, where she harvests a plethora of vegetables, turning them into seasonal delicacies to share. At the winery, Diana plans to cultivate flower and herb gardens, contributing to the sense of comfort and warmth that she has so artfully created in the tasting room.